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McConnell vows to block Trump impeachment in fundraising pitch

The Hill logo The Hill 10/4/2019 Jordain Carney
Mitch McConnell wearing a suit and glasses: Sen. Mitch McConnell has tied himself closely to President Trump as he runs for re-election.  © Greg Nash Sen. Mitch McConnell has tied himself closely to President Trump as he runs for re-election. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) reelection campaign is seizing on the fight over impeachment, pledging in Facebook ads that he will lead Republican efforts to stop President Trump from being removed from office.

"Nancy Pelosi's in the clutches of a left wing mob. They finally convinced her to impeach the president. All of you know your Constitution, the way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority with me as majority leader," McConnell says in an ad that began running on Thursday.

"But I need your help. Please contribute before the deadline," McConnell continues in the ad.

McConnell's campaign, according to Facebook's ad library, began running the digital ads with the video on Sept. 27, three days after House Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) formally announced that House Democrats would launch an impeachment inquiry.

The decision, which followed months of pressure from progressives, came following reports of a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump urged the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

McConnell, who has tied himself closely to Trump as he runs for reelection in the deeply red state of Kentucky, doesn't address the allegations surrounding the president's communication with Ukraine in the roughly 17-second video.

The GOP leader, along with most of his caucus, have remained silent despite the growing scrutiny on the president this week.

In one caption for an ad that has run since Sept. 30, McConnell's team argues that a "conservative Senate Majority is the ONLY thing stopping Nancy Pelosi from impeaching President Trump. Donate & help us keep it."

Each of the digital ads includes the same video message from McConnell. But the campaign shifted their messaging as part of a digital ad that went up on Thursday to also knock House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

"BREAKING: Adam Schiff LIED. His office secretly coordinated with the source of this laughable impeachment inquiry. Help me stop it," the caption to go along with the video reads.

The caption is an apparent reference to a report from The New York Times that the whistleblower consulted the House Intelligence Committee before filing the complaint.

Slideshow by photo services

"Few issues energize conservative voters like liberal overreach and the Democrats latest outrageous attempt to impeach President Trump has activated our base to new heights," Kevin Golden, McConnell's campaign manager, said in a statement.

According to Facebook data, McConnell's campaign has spent $61,677 on ads between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2. McConnell's Facebook ads were first reported by CNN.

McConnell said during a CNBC interview earlier this week that he would have "no choice" but to bring up impeachment if the House sends over articles.

"Well, under the Senate rules we're required to take it up if the House does go down that path, and we'll follow the Senate rules," McConnell said during an interview with CNBC.

But McConnell and Republicans are hinting that a trial could be short lived. A GOP Senate leadership aide noted in a memo to reporters that trying to dismiss the articles of impeachment would be allowed under the Senate's impeachment rules.

"I would have no choice but to take it up," McConnell added during the CNBC interview. "How long you're on it is a whole different matter."

McConnell is facing a handful of Democrats looking to challenge him in 2020, including Marine veteran Amy McGrath.

His seat is rated as "likely Republican" by The Cook Political Report.

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